ELKIN — Former local high school stars are shining in the collegiate ranks across the Carolinas.
Here is a look at some of the best Starmount, Elkin, Forbush and East Wilkes graduates suiting up at the college level (not a complete list):
Ashton Gregory (Starmount) — Furman
Ashton Gregory and Furman are closing out their volleyball regular-season slate this weekend on the road against Samford and Chattanooga.
The Paladins are sitting atop the Southern Conference standings at 11-3 heading into the final weekend. Furman is tied with Georgia Southern but hold two head-to-head wins against the Eagles.
Gregory is having a dominant first year on the court, leading the Paladins with 28 solo blocks, 70 block assists and 98 total blocks. The Starmount grad is also third on the team with 231 kills, averaging 2.6 kills per set.
Gregory caught the eye of the SoCon, garnering Freshman of the Week honors in early September after tallying a career-high 21 kills against South Carolina.
Jessica Baity (Forbush) — NC State
Jessica Baity and NC State capped the 2013 season with a stunning upset of 23rd-ranked Wake Forest on Halloween night, 2-1.
The junior started all 19 games for the Wolfpack, scoring two goals and assisting on two more this season.
Jennifer Baity (Forbush) — Pfeiffer
Jennifer Baity and Pfeiffer knocked off Belmont Abbey last Saturday in a shootout, 5-3, to capture the Conference Carolinas Tournament Championship.
With the win, the Falcons (13-6-1) secured a berth in the D-II NCAA Tournament. Sixth-seeded Pfeiffer drew a rematch against Belmont Abbey set for Friday.
Jennifer Baity, a freshman on the squad, has seen action in 13 of the teams’ 20 games this season. The highlight of her rookie season came on Oct. 9 against Chowan when she scored the first goal of her collegiate career.
Leticia Patino (Forbush) — Pfeiffer
Leticia Patino teamed up with Jennifer Baity to lead the Falcons into the postseason.
The former Falcon has appeared in 16 games during her junior season leading up to the playoffs, making four starts. Patino has tallied one goal and one assist this year.
Zach Millsaps (Elkin) — Lenoir-Rhyne
Zach Millsaps raced to a 38th-place finish in 10,000 meter run at the NCAA D-II Southeast Regional Saturday at McAlpine Greenway Park in Charlotte.
The Elkin graduate ran a personal-best time of 33:16 at the regional.
Abram Logan (East Wilkes) — Lenoir-Rhyne
Abram Logan ran a personal-best time of 37:50 in the 10,000 meter run at the NCAA D-II Southeast Regional Saturday at McAlpine Greenway Park in Charlotte.
The former Cardinal has raced in four events during his freshman season.
Jake Barr (Starmount) — Campbell
Jake Barr has appeared in 10 games for the Fighting Camels this season, recording 37 total tackles at linebacker. The Starmount graduate leads the team with 2.5 sacks.
Ethan Wilmoth (Surry Central) — UNC Asheville
Ethan Wilmoth, a preferred walk-on UNC Asheville, checked into his first career game in the Bulldogs’ season-opener against national powerhouse Kentucky.
The former Surry Central star played two minutes against the Wildcats on Nov. 8 without recording any statistics.
Wilmoth is all-time leading scorer at Surry Central with 1,732 points.
Charlie Wagoner (Starmount) — Pfeiffer
Charlie Wagoner earned his first start just two games into his Pfeiffer career against Catawba Sunday.
Starmount’s former standout has averaged 25 minutes per game, 4.0 points per game and 6.0 rebounds per game early this season.
Wagoner graduated from North Forsyth last year after playing three seasons with the Rams.
Wagoner joins Wilkes Central graduate Armin Omanovic on the Falcons. The two squared off in the 2012 Mountain Valley Conference Tournament Semifinals.
Heaven Walters (Starmount) — Guilford
Heaven Walters and Guilford tip off the 2013-14 basketball season this weekend in the Marriott Invitational against York College (NY) and Alma College at home.
The two-time defending league champion Quakers were picked second in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference preseason coaches’ poll heading into the season.
Walters averaged 21.2 points, 8.1 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game in her senior campaign at Starmount last season. She joined the 1000-point club late in the year.
Micah Bryan (East Wilkes) — UNC Charlotte
Micah Bryan made a seamless transition over from the UNC Charlotte’s baseball team after two years to the football squad in the programs’ first season in 2013.
The East Wilkes alum has played in seven of the 10 games this year, posting 52 total tackles, good for fifth on the team. Bryan also has picked off a pass, forced a fumble and recovered a loose ball.
While pitching for the 49ers in 2012, Bryan made 16 appearances in relief, striking out 26 batters.
Chandler Chappell (Starmount) — UNC Greensboro
Chandler Chappell and UNC Greensboro bowed out of the Southern Conference soccer tournament in the first round Saturday with a 1-0 loss to Georgia Southern.
The Spartans finished 8-9-2 on the year.
Chappell appeared in 10 games during his rookie campaign, earning one start. The Starmount grad assisted on one goal this year.
Madison Durham (Elkin) — Mars Hill
Madison Durham, a freshman runner at Mars Hill, posted a season-best time of 23:21 at the Royal Cross Country Challenge at McAlpine Greenway Park in Charlotte in October.
The former Elk has raced in two events in her first year at Mars Hill.
Dillon Dobson (Starmount) — Appalachian State
Dillon Dobson kicked off his sophomore season at Appalachian State with a bang, garnering MVP honors in the Black and Gold Fall World Series in October.
The former Ram went 7-for-14 during the Series with seven RBIs and a home run to earn recognition.
Dobson is coming off a stellar freshman campaign where he cranked a team-high six home runs, while batting .252 with 28 RBIs. He added 10 doubles, two triples, 10 stolen bases, while scoring 40 runs.
Dobson suited up for the Peninsula Oilers in the Alaska Baseball League during the summer, hitting .232 with seven doubles, two triples and 10 RBIs.
Alex Barr (Starmount) — Western Carolina
Alex Barr and the Catamounts capped fall practices with the Fall College World Series in October.
The Starmount alum made 13 appearances last year during his freshman season, posting a 2-0 record with a 6.62 ERA with 19 strikeouts.
Barr pitched for the Kernersville Bulldogs of the Carolina-Virginia Collegiate League over the summer, appearing in 19 games. The lefty recorded two wins and three saves with a 1.98 ERA in relief.
Dillon Bray (Starmount) — Western Carolina
Dillon Bray toed the rubber in Western Carolina’s Fall College World Series in October.
The Starmount grad is coming off his redshirt freshman season.
Sarah Singleton (Elkin) — Gardner-Webb
Sarah Singleton opened her sophomore campaign earlier this month in a big way, helping Gardner-Webb top VMI in the first home meet of the season Saturday.
The Elkin native was part of two first-place relay teams, anchoring the 800 freestyle relay.
The Runnin’ Bulldogs are preparing for the Fall Frenzy Invitational later this month in Charlotte.
Courtney Groce (Starmount) — Chowan
Courtney Groce and the Hawks are preparing for the 2014 season, set to begin in February.
The former Ram posted a 10-8 record during her sophomore season at Chowan last year with a team-best 3.05 ERA. Groce pitched 17 complete games with two shutouts and 78 strikeouts.
Avery Wallis (East Wilkes) — Lees-McRae
Avery Wallis has not seen any action in Lees-McRae’s first two games of the season.
Tyler Macy (Elkin) — Gardner-Webb
Tyler Macy has not recorded any stats during his freshman tennis season at Gardner-Webb.
Sheridan Caudle (Forbush) — Western Carolina
Sheridan Caudle did not record any statistics in her first season at Western Carolina after walking onto the team.
Reach Matthew Gorry at 835-1513 or firstname.lastname@example.org.